Selected NYC Events (12/17) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.
For those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Music Events see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

‘A DARLENE LOVE CHRISTMAS’
The former Crystals singer’s annual show has become as much of a holiday tradition as the Yule Log. And you can be certain she’ll perform her Christmas chestnut “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. (also Dec. 23, 26 and Jan. 6) at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St.
INFO $45; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com” (DANIEL BUBBEO, Newsday)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Kenny Barron
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Winter Solstice Celebration
MARIAH CAREY
Karrin Allyson
Caroling Walk
bonus pick: METROPOLITAN OPERA

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Kenny Barron (thru Dec.25)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“The dean of mainstream jazz piano gets to display two sides of his multidimensional musical personality during this two-week residency. First, he calls on Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Johnathan Blake, who complete the sleek trio that finally débuted with this year’s album “Book of Intuition.” He then beefs up the band with the saxophonist Dayna Stephens and the vibraphonist Steve Nelson, gaining hard-bop muscle in the process.“ (NewYorker)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
City Center, 131 W55th St./ 8PM, $25+
“In the second week of the season, the major premières are unveiled. First up is the full version of Kyle Abraham’s “Untitled America,” a three-part piece about mass incarceration that the company has been revealing in short installments. The first two sections, evocative but treading water, embodied the pain of separation; will the completed work add up to more? Also new is “r-Evolution, Dream” by the company member Hope Boykin, an inspirational effort with a jazz score by Ali Jackson and speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr., recorded by Leslie Odom, Jr.” (NewYorker)

Winter Solstice Celebration
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine,/ 8PM, $35-$90
“Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in New York City and one of the loveliest; entering its elegant confines could cheer up even the grinchiest among us. At this nonreligious celebration of the season, watch dancers and musicians reenact ancient solstice rituals for a modern audience. And rock & roll devotees, take heed: This year’s celebration also includes a tribute to Beatles producer George Martin and features the vocals of Gary Brooker, lead singer of Procol Harum, and of course, the Paul Winter Consort—with Winter himself on sax, right where he belongs.” (TONY)

MARIAH CAREY
“It just wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the Greenlawn, L.I. native’s annual “All I Want for Christmas” concerts. Join Carey as she performs holiday classics, including her own hits “Christmas (Please Come Home),” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and, of course, the show’s title tune.” (DANIEL BUBBEO, Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE: LAST DAY  at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway
INFO $60.50-$256; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com

Karrin Allyson (LAST DAY)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Although Allyson brings customary charm to the beloved work of Rodgers and Hammerstein on her most recent release, “Many a New Day,” this valued singer will also surely dip into seasonal fare from her earlier “Yuletide Hideaway” project at this five-night engagement.” (NewYorker)

Caroling Walk
Beginning and ending at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South (at Thompson Street)/ 12PM, FREE
“Dig out your Santa hats and your Christmas sweaters (cute, ugly or otherwise!), and warm up your Fa-la-la’s!

Come with us around the historic, Dickensian streets of our Village neighborhood singing everyone’s favorite holiday songs. Then come back to Judson for more caroling and refreshments by the piano!”

HOT TICKETS:
Big Band Holidays (Dec. 18, 2PM)
Rose Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St./
no tickets left today, but tomorrow’s last day performance, still has tickets available.

Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Party Ever!
City Winery, 8PM
annual show, now in it’s 3rd decade.
standing room only left for Dec 20, 21 performances.

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:
METROPOLITAN OPERA (all week)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center

“Four productions on the bill this week, including a continuation of Kaija Saariaho’s important “L’Amour de Loin” (Dec. 17 at 8 p.m., Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m.), in a brightly illuminated production by Robert Lepage. Strauss’s unnerving, bloody “Salome” continues, too (Dec. 17 at 1 p.m.), with Patricia Racette in the title role, Zeljko Lucic as Jochanaan and Gerhard Siegel as Herod. Johannes Debus conducts. Elijah Moshinsky’s staging of “Nabucco” (Dec. 16, Dec. 19 and Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m.) is notable for the reappearance, wise or otherwise, of Plácido Domingo in another baritone role, and perhaps more so for Liudmyla Monastyrska’s Abigaille. James Levine has the baton. And last, “The Magic Flute” (Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m.) begins its run as a holiday production, in Julie Taymor’s abridged production, and in English. The cast is young, but Christopher Maltman will be a marvelous Papageno.”
212-362-6000, metopera.org (David Allen-NYT)

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, almost all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM:
‘AGNES MARTIN’ (through Jan. 11, 2017)
Agnes Martin was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1912, lived in New York City in the 1950s and ’60s, and spent the rest of her life in New Mexico, where she died in 2004. More than 100 of her paintings and drawings now float up the ramps of the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda in the most out-of-this-world-beautiful show in this space in years. Her art is about faint colors and subliminal lines; to see it requires sustained looking and some moving around: Stand back, then move up close. By the time you reach the final painting, high up under the museum’s great skylight, you’ve been through a rich life, and had a spirit-lifting, body-lightening lesson in what abstraction can be and can do. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street, 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org. (Cotter)

MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM:
‘HANS MEMLING: PORTRAITURE, PIETY AND A REUNITED ALTARPIECE’ (through January 2017)
“When it comes to jewels, there are Taylor-Burton rocks and discreetly cut heirloom stones. With museum shows, it’s the same. This one, at the Morgan Library, is a minute but invaluable gem. Set in a 20-by-20-by-20-foot gallery known as the Cube, it reunites, for the first time in the United States, dispersed sections of an altarpiece by the 15th-century German-born, Flanders-based Memling and adds some of his exquisite portrait paintings. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, 212-685-0008, themorgan.org.” (Cotter)

and you should be sure to check out the special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

at the very least you will want to see these two:
‘CELEBRATING THE ARTS OF JAPAN: THE MARY GRIGGS BURKE COLLECTION’ (through May 2017)
“This lavish collection of 160 objects came to the Met from the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation in early 2015. The Burkes loved Japanese art — all of it — and the exhibition is close to compendious in terms of media, from wood-carved Buddhas to bamboo baskets, with a particular strength in painting, early and late. The quality of the work? Japan thinks highly enough of it to have made the Burke holdings the first Japanese collection from abroad ever to show at Tokyo National Museum. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

‘JERUSALEM 1000–1400: EVERY PEOPLE UNDER HEAVEN’ (through Jan. 8, 2017)
“Three major faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have called Jerusalem their own, and its varying histories as a sacred space, a theater of conflict and a cosmopolitan cultural emporium are reflected in this exhibition modeled along classic Met epic lines: 200 fascinating objects from 60 international collections, with a time frame in the past and context in the present (in the form of short videos in each gallery). If much of the art is small, the effect is not. We see a city otherworldly and monumental, but also one of appetites, personalities and ethnic tensions as real today as they ever were. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/15 and 12/13.
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Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

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